Baltasound

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Coordinates: 60°45′32″N 0°51′40″W / 60.759°N 0.861°W / 60.759; -0.861

Baltasound
Main gate for Buness, Baltasound - geograph.org.uk - 969689.jpg
At the main gate of Buness, Baltasound
Baltasound is located in Shetland
Baltasound
Baltasound
 Baltasound shown within Shetland
OS grid reference HP620089
Civil parish Unst
Council area Shetland
Lieutenancy area Shetland
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SHETLAND
Postcode district ZE2
Dialling code 01957
Police Northern
Fire Highlands and Islands
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Orkney and Shetland (UK Parliament constituency)
Scottish Parliament Shetland (Scottish Parliament constituency)
List of places
UK
Scotland

Baltasound is the largest settlement on the island of Unst in Shetland. Unst is the most northerly inhabited island in the United Kingdom. The village lies halfway along the island's east coast on a sheltered bay called Balta Sound.

Baltasound Post Office, the most northerly in the UK

Baltasound was formerly the most important herring port in Shetland, in 1902 its catch exceeded that of the Shetland capital Lerwick. The herring trade declined rapidly after 1905 but the physical remains of the herring boom remained long after.[1]

Baltasound was the home of the noted Victorian botanist Thomas Edmondston, who was born at Buness House where his uncle, also called Thomas was the laird. A memorial stone erected outside the house by the elder Thomas Edmondston commemorates scientific studies undertaken there by the French physicist Jean-Baptiste Biot.[2]

Baltasound can also lay claim to the most northerly "wood" in the British Isles, although it is not very substantial.[3]

Climate[change | change source]

Baltasound is home to the most Northerly Met Office weather station in the United Kingdom.[4] Despite its northerly location, Baltasound experiences a maritime climate, as with the rest of the British Isles, albeit a very pronounced one, with mild winters and particularly cool summers. It is generally cool and clammy throughout the year.

Baltasound holds the record for the highest temperature recorded in the Shetland Islands: 25.0 °C (77.0 °F) on 2 July 1958.[5] On the same day, the highest humidex for Baltasound of 34 was recorded. It also possibly holds the record for the lowest Shetland temperature: −11.9 °C (10.6 °F) on 5 February 2001.[6]

Sunshine hours are not available for this station, so the sunshine values provided are for the whole of Northern Scotland. The extreme northerly location combined with frequent overcast skies leads to very low levels of sunshine in the winter months, December averages less than 45 minutes of bright sunshine daily.[7]

Baltasound is the snowiest low-lying area of the British isles, with an average of 64.7 days of snow falling per year.[8]

Climate data for Baltasound 15 m amsl, 1981-2010
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Humidex 12.0 12.0 16.0 20.0 33.0 32.0 34.0 34.0 25.0 20.0 19.0 13.0 34
Record high °C (°F) 11.0
(51.8)
11.0
(51.8)
14.0
(57.2)
17.0
(62.6)
24.9
(76.8)
24.0
(75.2)
25.0
(77)
24.9
(76.8)
20.0
(68)
17.0
(62.6)
16.0
(60.8)
12.0
(53.6)
25.0
(77)
Average high °C (°F) 6.4
(43.5)
6.0
(42.8)
7.1
(44.8)
8.9
(48)
11.0
(51.8)
13.1
(55.6)
15.0
(59)
15.2
(59.4)
13.4
(56.1)
10.7
(51.3)
8.2
(46.8)
6.8
(44.2)
10.15
(50.27)
Average low °C (°F) 2.0
(35.6)
1.3
(34.3)
2.1
(35.8)
3.7
(38.7)
5.6
(42.1)
8.0
(46.4)
10.2
(50.4)
10.4
(50.7)
8.8
(47.8)
6.5
(43.7)
3.8
(38.8)
2.1
(35.8)
5.38
(41.68)
Record low °C (°F) -6.0
(21.2)
-11.9
(10.6)
-9.0
(15.8)
-5.0
(23)
-2.0
(28.4)
1.0
(33.8)
3.0
(37.4)
2.0
(35.6)
1.0
(33.8)
-2.0
(28.4)
-6.0
(21.2)
-10.0
(14)
-11.9
(10.6)
Rainfall mm (inches) 123.0
(4.843)
95.7
(3.768)
107.4
(4.228)
64.7
(2.547)
52.3
(2.059)
56.6
(2.228)
59.9
(2.358)
82.1
(3.232)
96.0
(3.78)
122.6
(4.827)
128.0
(5.039)
119.8
(4.717)
1,108.1
(43.626)
Humidity 84 84 83 81 80 82 86 86 85 82 84 84 83.4
Avg. rainy days (≥ 1.0 mm) 22.0 17.5 20.1 13.7 11.8 11.0 12.0 13.4 16.7 20.6 20.5 20.7 200
Sunshine hours 28.1 56.5 86.3 128.0 172.2 140.7 125.7 119.7 96.9 67.6 35.0 23.2 1,079.9
Source #1: Met Office[9]
Source #2: My Weather 2[10]

References[change | change source]